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Child Abuse Negl. 2008 Jun;32(6):621-5. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2007.10.003. Epub 2008 Jun 26.

Multi-informant assessment of maltreated children: convergent and discriminant validity of the TSCC and TSCYC.

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Miller Children's Abuse and Violence Intervention Center, Miller Children's Hospital, 2865 Atlantic Ave. #110, Long Beach, CA 90806, USA.



This study examined the convergent and discriminant validity of two trauma symptom measures, the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC) [Briere, J. (1996). Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC). Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources] and the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Young Children (TSCYC) [Briere, J. (2005). Trauma Symptom Checklist for Young Children (TSCYC). Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources].


Children's scores on the TSCC and their caretakers' ratings on the TSCYC were analyzed in a study of 310 children presenting to one of two child abuse treatment centers.


TSCC and TSCYC scales generally converged in their assessment of symptomatology in maltreated children. Equivalent scales measuring anxiety, depression, anger, dissociation, and sexual concerns were generally most correlated with one another. Similarly, the Posttraumatic Stress-Intrusion (PTS-I) scale of the TSCYC correlated highest with the Posttraumatic Stress (PTS) and Anxiety (ANX) scales of the TSCC, the TSCYC Posttraumatic Stress-Arousal (PTS-AR) scale was correlated with the TSCC ANX scale, and the TSCC PTS scale was most correlated with the TSCYC ANX, PTS-I, and Sexual Concerns (SC) scales. The TSCYC Posttraumatic Stress-Avoidance scale was unrelated to any TSCC scale. Discriminant function analysis revealed that the TSCC PTS scale was the best single predictor of sexual abuse-related PTSD status as identified by the TSCYC.


The TSCC and TSCYC display moderate convergent and discriminant validity with respect to one another, despite different information sources. Nevertheless, the relatively small association between relevant TSCC and TSCYC scales indicates that different symptom informants may have different perspectives on the child's symptomatology; an outcome that may be beneficial when both measures are administered simultaneously.


These results reinforce the notion that both child- and parent/caretaker report measures should be used in the evaluation of traumatized children, so that multiple sources of information can be considered simultaneously. In the current context, administration of the TSCC to the child and the TSCYC to the caretaker, when appropriate (i.e., in children 8-12 years of age) may yield more clinical information on the child's symptomatology than either measure would alone-perhaps especially in cases when one of the two respondents under- or over-reports the child's distress.

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